First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme

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The First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme is a part of a national scheme designed to help young people understand the significance of World War I and forms a key part of the Government’s plans to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War.

This unique and thought-provoking programme is being run by the Institute of Education (IOE) and Equity on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and it provides the opportunity for students and teachers from every state-funded secondary school in England to visit historic battlefields on the Western Front.

The programme, which also offers a dedicated website and free teacher CPD, aims to create a lasting legacy by enabling young people from every community to learn about the sacrifices made by the troops, and encounter personal stories of those involved in, the First World War effort.

Each participating school will send at least two pupils and a teacher on an unforgettable four day tour to visit battlefields, cemeteries and museums on the Western Front which have special links to their own local area. Whilst on the tour they will also take part in remembrance ceremonies.

Children who do not visit will also benefit as the pupils and teachers who have been on the tours will be inspired to share and pass on what they have learned from their first-hand experience with their school peers. Students will be encouraged to actively engage in historical enquiries, undertake research and establish projects in their local communities that explore different aspects of the war.  This will enable them to reflect on why the First World War was – and still is – so important, as well as exploring the role of Empire and Commonwealth and the Great War’s impact on other nations.

The First World War Centenary Battlefield Tours Programme runs until spring 2019 and is aimed primarily, though not exclusively, at history teachers and Key Stage 3 pupils (World War I study is a compulsory feature of the new Key Stage 3 history curriculum for 11 to 14 year olds). Schools can register their interest by visiting the website at

Once registered, teachers will:

  • Be able to select and book a battlefield tour for their school on a suitable date (offered free of charge for two pupils and one teacher at state-funded secondary schools)
  • Have access to a wealth of free teaching resources about the First World War, for use with students in the classroom or on battlefield sites, including: historical enquiries, a media library, classroom ideas, podcasts and an interactive timeline
  • Get access to a free comprehensive CPD programme (both face-to-face and online sessions) focused on teaching and learning about the First World War, provided by the IOE.
  • Receive regular newsletter updates

For more information, or to register, please visit the dedicated website at: